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Newland’s Law of Octaves

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Newland’s Law of Octaves also called Law of Octaves was one of the initial attempts to arrange all the known chemical elements in a table to make their study better. In Newland’s Law of Octaves, elements are arranged in the increasing order of their atomic mass and it is seen that the property of the Eight elements starting from any element resembles the starting elements. This is similar to the Law of Octaves in music in which the eight nodes in music in which any node is always similar to its eight nodes. Thus, the name Newland’s Law of Octaves.

In this article, will learn about Newland’s Law of Octaves, Examples of Newland’s Law of Octaves, Advantages and Limitations of Newland’s Law of Octaves in detail.

What is Newland’s Law of Octaves?

A British chemist named John Newlands attempted to combine the 62 elements known at the time in 1864. He arranged them in ascending order according to their atomic weights and discovered that the properties of every eighth element were the same. As a result of this discovery, Newland’s law of Octaves was born.

The law of octaves states that when the elements are arranged in ascending order of atomic mass, every eighth element has similar properties.

Example of Newland’s Octaves

The image added below shows the Newland’s Octaves

Newland-Law-of Octave

  • Sodium is eighth element following Lithium. Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium have similar chemical properties.
  • Chlorine is the eighth element after Fluorine. The chemical properties of Fluorine and Chlorine are similar.

Advantages of Newland’s Law of Octaves

Various advantages of Newland’s Law of Octaves are,

  • This law establishes a framework for classifying items with comparable features into groups.
  • Newland’s law of octave was the first to be based on atomic weight, linking element properties to atomic masses.
  • For the lighter elements, this method performed significantly better. Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium, for example, were combined.

Limitations of Newland’s Law of Octaves

Various limitations faced by Newland’s Law of Octaves were,

  • In Newland’s periodic classification, some elements that are not similar were grouped together. Nickel and Cobalt were both placed in the same slot.
  • Element qualities that were distinct were grouped together. Metals such as cobalt, nickel, and platinum, for example, were classified as halogens.
  • Newland’s Law of Octaves hold true up to Calcium. Elements with higher atomic masses had atomic masses that were too large to fit within octaves.
  • The octave layout was unable to accommodate later discovered components. As a result, new elements could not be discovered using this classification scheme.

In the same time when Newland’s was busy in arranging elements on the basis of their atomic mass in the form of Octaves, Dobereiner another famous chemist of that time was also busy in arranging and grouping elements together. He proposed a concept called Doberiner’s Triads that is explained below.

Dobereiner’s Triads

Prior to Newland, Dobernier was the first to make an attempt to arrange the atoms in a table based on their common properties. He arranged three atoms in a column and such columns were called Triads. Doberenier’s Triads uses atomic mass as the basis for classification. According to this, groups of three elements with comparable properties are formed when elements are stacked in order of increasing atomic masses. The atomic mass of the triad’s middle element is almost equal to the average of the other two elements’ atomic masses. Li (6.9), Na (23), and K are only a few examples (39).

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FAQs on Law of Octaves

1. State Newland’s Law of Octaves?

Newland’s Law of Octaves or simply Law of Octaves is the one of first law for arranging various known elements in a table to study their properties. This law states that if elements are arranged in the increasing order of their atomic mass property of every eight element resembles the property of the starting element.

2. What is Dobereiner’s Triad?

Dobereiner’s Triad is also an attempt to arrange similar elements in a group to easily study their properties. He proposed that in some group of three elements mean of atomic mass of first and third element in group is equal to the atomic mass of the second element.

3. What were the Limitations of Newland’s Law of Octaves?

Limitation of the Law of Octaves are,

  • This law only works up to Calcium and elements with atomic mass greater than Calcium can not be arranged using this law.
  • Various elements that do not have similar properties are arranged together using Law of octaves.

4. What were Drawbacks of Dobereiner’s triads?

Drawbacks of Dobereiner’s triads are,

  • Dobereiner was only able to identify three triads. He couldn’t make triads of all the known elements.
  • All of the known elements could not be arranged in triads.
  • The law did not hold true for elements with extremely low or extremely high masses. Consider F, Cl, and Br.

5. What are Advantages of Law of Octaves?

Advantages of the Newland Law of Octaves are,

  • It gave a basic structure to arrange elements in form of a table.
  • It arrange some elements such as Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium together that indeed have similar physical and chemical properties.

6. What is Mendeleve’s Periodic Law?

Mendeleve was a famous chemist of late 19 century. He proposed a law for arranging the know elements of that time in a table and the law is called Mendeleve’s Periodic Law. This law states that,

Physcial and Chemical properties of any element is a periodic function of its atomic mass.

Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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